Right now, as of writing this on a cold, damp day in Brooklyn, the BEST credit card for quickly accruing AAdvantage miles is this one:
Here is the link to the application. Note that it goes directly to the landing page and does not specify the terms of the application, but here they are:
- 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within four months
- $150 statement credit on an American flight (I used mine to book a trip to Anchorage)
- 2 Admirals Club lounge passes
- $85 annual fee waived the first year
You also get the usual perks:
- 1 free checked bag
- Priority boarding
- 10% of miles redeemed back (up to 10,000 miles per year)
Note that this card does carry a foreign transaction fee of 3%. So don’t pack it when traveling internationally.
There are two versions of this card, those being a Visa Signature and an Amex. The both have the exact same signup bonus, but I picked the Amex.
Here’s why: Small Business Sunday. Amex gives you $25 to spend for FREE every year at nearly any small business. I now have four Amex cards, so that’s $100 worth of free gifts from local businesses. And that’s pretty amazing. Amex also gives you the opportunity to sync your card to your Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook and offers lots of perks and statement credits for checking in, tweeting, etc. Having a Visa Signature gives you access to concierge service and the Visa Signature Hotels collection, but since I already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I don’t need another card with the same perks. I’d much rather have the $25 credit, which, when you think about it, brings the annual fee down to just $60. The ability to have access to sales and promotions throughout the year is also just a really nice way to stay engaged with the card. And, all else being equal, that’s why I picked the Amex version.
About the signup bonus: the link above is the exact same one I used to apply. I was a little leery about not getting it, but I’m close to making my spend, and called Citibank to confirm I’d get a statement credit before I booked the Anchorage trip. The rep went over the details of the signup bonus, and they were exactly what’s written above. 50K miles, club passes, $150 statement credit. When she told me, I hit the “Pay Now” button as I had my flights pulled up on aa.com at the same time. Also of note was that the call was answered immediately with no hold time. Pretty nice.
This offer will probably not be around for much longer, and 50K is as generous as the signup bonus gets. The usual offer is just 30K, so if you’re thinking of getting this, I’d go ahead and pull the trigger on it. As with all offers, YMMV, so make sure you keep an eye on your AAdvantage account when you expect the miles to post.
American has quite a few sweet spots in their award chart, including a discount for cardmembers every quarter and 10% of redeemed miles returned every year. This can really add up to some great discounted trips. I really love the idea of taking Qantas to Australia, airberlin to Europe, or Finnair to somewhere in Scandinavia. Of course that’s just the trip of the iceberg. I wish AAdvantage miles were easier to earn. Nevertheless, this card is a huge step in the direction of a great award booking, and, in my opinion, the best offer available at the time of writing.